Trump prevents McGahn from testifying to Congress


President Trump and his legal team are preventing former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying to Congress. The administration’s argument is that the president’s immediate advisers are immune from compelled congressional testimony on matters related to their official responsiiblities within the White House.

US Navy sails ship near disputed Scarborough Shoal


The USS Preble sailed near the Scarborough Shoal, a disputed area of the South China Sea as a sign of U.S. commitment to preserve waterways governed by international law. The move will certainly frustrate China as it claims the area as sovereign territory.

Congress still waiting for Iran briefings


Bombers and a carrier strike force are sent to the Middle East after provocations from Iran, and the U.S. body responsible for declaring wars, Congress, has no idea what is going on. Lawmakers are expecting the Pentagon and the State Department to brief them on the situation in Iran sometime this week, but for now, Congress is left in the dark.

China’s drones and your data


The Department of Homeland Security is warning that Chinese-made drones may be allowing China to steal sensitive data. The U.S. Army had already banned Chinese-made drones in 2017, saying that the drones shared sensitive data with the Chinese government.

Morgan Stanley sees global recession on the horizon


With no end in sight for the trade war between the U.S. and China, Morgan Stanley is worried that a global recession is coming. The bank said, “If talks stall, no deal is agreed upon and the U.S. imposes 25% tariffs on the remaining ~US$300 billion of imports from China, we see the global economy heading towards recession.”

Ford to cut 7,000 jobs


Ford Motor Co said on Monday it will eliminate about 10% of its global salaried workforce, cutting about 7,000 jobs by the end of August as part of its larger restructuring effort. “To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-changing future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making, focus on the most valuable work and cut costs,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

Memorial wall honor for CIA officer who committed suicide stirs controversy


Ranya Abdelsayed took her own life in 2013 after a year in Afghanistan, and her death is marked by one of the 129 stars on the wall. Some people are saying the honor is misplaced. “There’s been an erosion of understanding in CIA leadership for at least two decades about what the wall is for and who is it that we’re commemorating,” said retired CIA historian Nicholas Dujmovic.

Alex Webb: Trump’s Huawei ban will reverberate beyond China


“U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to blacklist Huawei Technologies Co. may just have scuppered any lingering hopes for more cross-border mergers in the semiconductor industry. On Friday, the administration barred U.S. firms from supplying components to the Chinese maker of telecommunications equipment, which it accuses of helping Beijing to spy. But uncertainty around the scope of the order means that chipmakers in Europe also decided to stop supplies to Huawei.”

Ryan Goodman: How Trump’s stonewalling puts our democracy at risk


“Our legislators aren’t flying blind, but the Trump administration is preventing them from obtaining the kind of visibility that would best serve the country. Time is running short: The electoral calendar won’t bend, and the full threat of foreign interference remains unaddressed. The administration’s bad faith arguments for keeping this information secret will surely affect how federal judges view the executive branch’s position when Congress takes officials to court over the full Mueller report. Judge Mehta’s reaction to Mr. Trump’s lawyers is a signal of how this will play out.”

Billionaire to pay Morehouse College grads student loans


Robert F. Smith, the billionaire investor who at one point became the richest black man in America, told the crowd that he and his family would pay off the entire graduating class’ student debt. “On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we’re going to put a little fuel in your bus,” he told the graduating class.

NY Times: The President and his power to pardon


“On its face, this authority appears unquestionable, and the Supreme Court has called it ‘unlimited.’ But in his more than two years in office, Donald Trump has found ways to wield or dangle the pardon power in a manner that departs from any established practice and even calls into question the principles of justice that undergird it…It is past time for Congress to display a more robust appetite for exploring this president’s use of the pardon power — if only to assure the public that he is pursuing his constitutional duties rather than his political interests.”

Rocket fired near Iraq’s US embassy


A rocket was fired into the Iraqi capital Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and diplomatic missions, on Sunday night, falling near the U.S. Embassy but causing no casualties. “We will hold Iran responsible if any such attacks are conducted by its proxy militia forces or elements of such forces, and will respond to Iran accordingly,” a State Department official said.

Google suspends some business with Huawei


Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing. This is a major blow to the Chinese tech company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world.

WaPo: The Trump administration owes the public answers about its restrictions on Huawei


“Under the circumstances, it is legitimate for the United States to seek greater transparency from Huawei, both about its ownership and its strategic objectives in the global market. To the extent that the Trump administration’s latest step is an attempt to bolster its negotiating position on those issues, it may be justified. If it represents a deliberate attempt to bring down Huawei and provoke a broader economic rupture with China, it may not. In that sense, the administration owes the public more transparency about its intentions, as well.”

China’s dystopian nightmare


“A low social credit score will exclude you from well-paid jobs, make it impossible for you to get a house or a car loan or even book a hotel room. The government will slow down your internet connection, ban your children from attending private schools and even post your profile on a public blacklist for all to see.”

Lost your passport? Go to McDonald’s


A partnership between McDonald’s Austria and the U.S. embassy in Austria now allows McDonald’s to assist American travelers get into contact with the U.S. embassy. Should an American lose a passport or be in service of any other consular services, workers at McDonald’s in Austria can help the travelers get the help they need.

Iranian foreign minister downplays tension with US


As tensions continue to rise between Tehran and Washington, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is taking a less confrontational approach. He said, “There will be no war because neither do we want a war, nor has anyone the idea or illusion it can confront Iran in the region.”

Scandal shocks Austria, leads to resignation of vice chancellor


Video recordings of Austria’s Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache were released showing him asking a woman posing as a daughter of a Russian oligarch for political help. The scandal has shocked Austria and led to Strache’s resignation. The leader of the far-right party Freedom Party, Strache, promised the woman posing as the daughter of the Russian oligarch contracts in exchange for media coverage and funding.